Many SMU faculty members have already stampeded from their Mustang corral for summer adventures, but I am going to stay here to teach this summer. I just spent a lovely couple of days on Santorini (or Thira) in Greece, but my suitcase is unpacked and stowed for the next 3 months. I will be teaching both summer sessions – the same course to two very different groups.
The course I will teach is about Positive Psychology. This is a relatively new branch of psychology started when Dr. Martin Seligman decided to leave his learned helplessness research behind him for more enriching pursuits. Whereas traditional psychology studies the characteristics and cures of mental illness, Positive Psychology is the study of thriving – of how to live your best life. It researches such traits as resilience, hope, optimism, happiness, and self-determination in an effort to create more healthy individuals. It’s a wonderful way to spend the summer – teaching people how to be happier and more fulfilled!
The two groups I will be teaching are also a source of great joy for me. First, I’ll teach a group of grad students who are seeking their teaching certification through my department in Simmons. It will be great to teach them how they can incorporate these ideas into their everyday classrooms in order to help their students build strengths. Second, I’ll teach a group of 7th -9th graders who come to SMU for the Gifted Students Institute summer Talented and Gifted program. My area of expertise is Gifted Education, so I really enjoy getting to know these students with advanced abilities each summer. These students already have many positive attributes going for them, yet always learn to connect in new ways with each other and develop new strengths as a result of the class and the summer, college experience.
Lucy, Ethel, and I will be hanging out, playing fetch, and doing a lot napping in the Texas summer heat! We would love a visit, so definitely stop by if you are coming to campus!